The Pale, Wan Shadow of Emsworth Sun Mar 25 17:43:06 2001|
Strange Animated Films
Well, since the jihad has pretty much been grinding to a halt, and as classes resume for me tomorrow (with blood drives, and papers, and projects, oh my!), and as most here seem to have an interest in and knowledge of animated films (to some extent, at least), what is the strangest animated film you've ever seen?
Myself, I've heard of some strange ones, but if I had to choose from those I've seen, it would probably come between "The Tune" and "Mad Monster Party." "Mad Monster Party" was that really trippy Rankin-Bass film (you know, the people who did Rudolph and Frosty and other treacly holiday fare). The opening credits are a hoot, with sudden "Eek!" and "Yipes!' captions poping up (accompanied by appropriate sounds), imposed over stop-motion scenes introducing the various monsters, while the title song plays. Boris Karloff voices Baron Frankenstein, who looks like Boris, and the stop-motion puppet Brois later picks up a banjo and sings a sprightly ditty called "Saty a Step Ahead" which might have seemed more appropriate in a Rudolph special. The Invisible Man sounds like Sydney Greenstreet, while Karloff's wimpy nephew talks like Jimmy Stewart (and there's a Peter Lorre type Igor figure, Yetch.) The Baron's slinky assistant Francesca and Phyllis Diller (providing the voice, and serving as the model for, the Monster's Mate) get into a catfight, ripping off each other's clothes, exposing their undies (and this was allegedly a kiddie film!) And the ending is pretty bizarre.
"The Tune" was an independent feature produced, directed, and largely animated by Bill Plympton. Plympton uses colored pencils, embossed onto the cels, rather than paint for most of the scenes, which gives the film a unique look. And Plympton was famous for his shorts featuring physical distortion, and there's plenty of that (a wise guru's head changes in weird ways, while two men get into an argument do bizarre things to each other's faces.) The story centers around a struggling songwriter, who in search of inspiration, visits a strange town, and meets weird people who sing strange tunes (a waitress sings a great love song accompanied by images of food stuffs engaged in romantic pursuits; an Elvis type hound dog sings about his hair, and a cab driver sings about his missing nose.) Not particularly cohesive, but worth seeing at least once, I think. And if memory serves me (haven't seen the movie in a year), there's even a defenestration scene, when a crazed bellhop pushes the guy out of a hotel window (though he might have simply fallen by himself, I'm not entirely certain.)
I remember another animated film "When the Wind Blows" which wasn't weird as much as it was depressing, about a sweet English couple who live through an attack from a nuclear bomb but slowly die from the fallout. Really morbid (though beautifully animated.)
Anyone else remember any really strange animated films?